Matthew 16:21-23

21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

elders (v.21) — religious leaders, probably the Sanhedrin

rebuke (v.22) = reprove, censure, strongly warn against. Peter probably felt authorized to speak this way in light of the Lord’s words to him in vs.18-19.

Far be it from You (v.22) = probably “Have mercy on Yourself.”

He turned (v.23) — away? turned His back?

Satan (v.23) — This was another temptation to avoid the cross like the ones Satan used in the wilderness.

Christ’s reply to Peter was even stronger than Peter’s remonstrance: “Out of my sight, Satan!” (v.23). By addressing Peter as Satan, He was not inferring that Peter was unsaved. Peter had previously confessed his unswerving faith in the person and work of Christ. But Peter had expressed Satan’s purpose; to prevent Christ from going to the cross to become a sacrifice for the sin of the world. Satan had tried several times previously to bring about Christ’s premature death. Satan had used Herod’s slaughter of the children in Bethlehem, the violence of mobs that sought to kill Christ, and the raging storms on the seas. Thus far Satan had not been able to accomplish his purpose. Now Satan was working through one close to the Lord. In his temptation of Christ, Satan had offered Christ a throne without a cross, asking that He worship him. Christ rejected this offer. Now Peter had acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah; in Peter’s mind there was no reason why He should not exert His messianic authority and mount Messiah’s throne immediately. The death of Christ did not seem necessary to Peter. Peter seems to have been oblivious to the fact that, according to prophetic Scripture, Messiah must not only reign but by His death He must also provide for the redemption of sinners. For this reason Christ said to him, “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:23). — Pentecost, pages 253-254.

offense (v.23) = trap, snare

mindful (v.23) — The same word is used in Romans 8:5 and Philippians 2:5.

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